Are Pokemon GO players safe in the real world?
There’s no doubt about the fact that the newest augmented reality game, Pokémon GO from Nintendo and Niantic is receiving a huge response from the Pokeheads worldwide and already is a massive hit even though the game has been released officially in the US, Australia and New Zealand for now. You can also download Pokémon GO unofficially in any region.
Even though how exciting the gameplay is, the side effects can’t be overlooked. Pokémon GO is a mobile video game that works in the real world where players have to walk or travel to certain destinations to catch Pokémons, purchase pokeballs and other stuff at Pokestops, fight against other players in gym and whatnot. All of this works using maps of the cities you currently are in. Even though it’s been only a week after the launch, the US and Australia have already seen certain criminal as well as chaotic events involving the players.
In Darwin, Australia, a police station experienced utter mess when Pokeheads walked in to buy Pokeballs since the station was a Pokestop in the virtual world. The department posted on Facebook to not enter the station as items can be purchased from outside the station also. The game when loading warns you to be aware of the surroundings but alas who wants to pay attention when a rare Pokémon is nearby. You gotta catch ‘em all, right?
Another incident in the US involved a car crash when the driver stopped immediately on road when he saw a Pokémon nearby getting totaled from the behind. Several robbery cases have also been reported in Philadelphia and other states in the US. Using the Lure module in the game you can lure the Pokémons to appear at a certain place for 30 minutes which highlights the place in pink color which can be noticed by the players nearby. The players come in excitement to the spot and several have been robbed on gunpoint.
When looked from the other side, the app also unintentionally helped in finding a dead body when a 19 year old player in the US was trying to find water Pokémons near the Big Wind River in Wyoming. She reported immediately to the local police department which reported the body to be dead for less than 24 hours. The players who’ve downloaded the app from the third party sites should also be aware of the hidden malware. A serious malware reported to have an origin from India has been attached to some unofficial distributions of the app that has the ability to read messages, listen to voice calls and send your live GPS data.
Going to the app permissions and seeing any odd permission allowed to the app like recording voice calls or read messages, the user should immediately uninstall the app from their phone. All of these events might become severe in the near future when the app will officially be released worldwide. We hope that the app will not face any legal issues and will be allowed to play in India if released without any intervention. The game is truly outstanding and we encourage you to get your hands on it but be aware of your surroundings and be safe.